Subject: Pray for the Peace of Israel through the Prince of Peace
Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you.”
At the close of her March 19th interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Megan Kelly asked one last question: “What does it mean to you personally to wake up each day knowing that Israel’s enemies’ stated goal is to destroy the people and the country that you love?” He gave a profound response that highlighted their precarious position: “I was once asked: what’s the difference between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel?… I said, ‘The President of the United States is always concerned about the security of the United States, but the Prime Minister of Israel… and I can speak personally in the nine years that I’ve been in office, there’s not been a day that I haven’t thought about the things I have to do to protect the survival of Israel.’ That’s the difference.”
There is not another country on earth in a more precarious position than Israel. First consider its miniature size and location. It is 290 miles long, 85 miles wide at its widest point and only about 9 miles wide at its narrowest point. You could travel the entire country by car, north to south, in under 10 hours. You could walk its narrowest point in under two hours. It is the land bridge between Africa and Asia, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Desert. Secondly, Israel’s 7 million inhabitants are surrounded by Islamic nations numbering 217 million. And every one of them (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia) is determined to destroy her. Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ missile defense system, deployed in March 2011, has shot down nearly 1,500 incoming Qassam missiles targeted at cities and villages.
When he spoke to Congress on March 2nd, Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized that Israel will fight for her survival: “The days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over. We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”
So how does Israel manage to stay survive? Mark Twain asked a similar question: “..the Jews are but ¼ of 1% of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way… The Jew ought hardly be heard of; but he has always been heard of. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and learning are way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. The Egyptians, Babylonians, and Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then passed away; the Greek and Roman followed, made a vast noise, and they were gone. The Jew saw and survived them all. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of the Jews’ immortality?” (Harper’s Magazine, 1897).
The secret to Israel’s survival is in God’s unrelenting love. In Luke 19:41-42, Jesus cried over Jerusalem because they did not know their own Hebrew Scriptures that taught God would visit them to make peace between man and God through the Cross: “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!”
Where in their Hebrew Scriptures was Jesus referring to that His arrival would bring them peace? Isaiah 9:6 is one clear example: “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ‘Prince of Peace’ is in Hebrew ‘Sar Shalom’ and means the ‘General over Prosperity, Safety and Peace’. ‘Shalom’ means more than just the absence of war and strife. Isaiah is telling us the virgin-born Child is our General that oversees the quiet confidence in our hearts, by the historical evidence of the Cross, where Christ accomplished everything required to restore peace between us and our holy God.
As the apostle Paul, a Jew himself, said in Colossians 1:19-20, it is Jesus who brings the ‘shalom’ between God and man by the Cross: “It pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made PEACE through the BLOOD OF HIS CROSS..” Jesus wept over Israel because they didn’t, and still don’t, see it.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that can only be accomplished by turning to their Peace of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.